World-Renowned Innovation Expert

Josh Linkner

Fee Range

$25K - $40K

Travels From

Detroit, MICHIGAN

At a glance:

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author, venture capitalist, professional jazz guitarist and keynote speaker on a mission to drive creativity, innovation, and reinvention.

Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies innovation, entrepreneurship, and breakthrough disruption. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. 

Josh is a New York Times Bestselling author, and an internationally recognized expert on innovation and applied creativity. His first book, Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity (2011), become one of the most definitive works on the topic of innovation, and has since been published in 13 languages. His other two books, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation (2014), and Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers (2017), have both received critical acclaim and have pushed the boundaries of business leaders worldwide. 

Josh is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in and/or mentoring over 100 startups. Today he serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, enablement and consulting firm. 

Josh has twice been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change Award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, the Detroit Free Press, and Inc. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times

He is the father of four, a passionate Detroiter, and yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.

  • Find Your Spark: Inspiring Growth, Innovation, Disruption, and Action

    A spark. A flash of creative brilliance. A new beginning. The energy to forge ahead when things get tough.

    What if we could cultivate and deploy this white-hot, mighty force? What if we injected sparks of innovation, competitive advantage, and sustainable growth into our organizations? Whether it's mustering the courage to take that first step, or harnessing the creative soul of your team to ignite wide-sweeping transformation, it's time to create sparks so powerful they can't be ignored.

    The long-awaited breakthrough idea. The inspiration to drive change. The unexpected solution to a burdensome problem. The beginning of unstoppable momentum.

    In this inspiring and actionable keynote, famed tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author provides a memorable performance to help you cultivate those powerful, combustible forces. Through real-world examples, hysterically funny stories, and practical takeaways, Josh will help you and your organization find your spark.
  • Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results

    As a five-time successful tech entrepreneur and investor in dozens of startups, Josh Linkner has seen thousands of companies loaded with creative buzz and big ideas. How is it that some harness their imagination to create game-changing drivers of growth and innovation while others miss the mark? The answer: the best companies have a systematic process to focus their team's creativity into practical outputs — something Linkner discovered by founding and building companies that collectively sold for over $200 million. As a professional jazz guitarist, Linkner blends the improvisational qualities of a jazz ensemble with bleeding-edge business savvy to bring a completely fresh perspective on unleashing creativity in the organization. His inspiring presentation delivers practical tools that can be used immediately to increase creative output and deliver bottom-line results.
  • Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers

    With intense competitive pressures and mind-numbing speed, leaders seek fresh approaches for growth and innovation. As old methods become commoditized, new creative problem-solving techniques are needed more than ever. Drawing inspiration from the unlikely world of hackers, NY Times bestselling author and 5-time tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner has discovered a new and powerful model for leadership and organizational success. The underworld of cybercriminals contains some of the most creative people on the planet, despite their illicit motives. In this thrilling and provocative talk, Linkner takes the audience on a mind-opening journey, showing how hacking techniques can be deployed to drive legitimate business outcomes. Learning how hackers would solve your most pressing challenges using unorthodox approaches will give you a new framework for creative problem solving, growth, and innovation.
  • The Gravity-Defying Leader: Innovative Approaches to Hyper-Growth Leadership

    With disruptive forces assaulting business from every direction, creativity has been labeled the single-most important business attribute. To succeed, leaders must be focused on creating a resilient culture where everyone's engaged; a torrent of fresh, creative ideas needs to flow from every level of the organization. Top leaders then employ a secret weapon: a systematic approach to selecting and launching the ideas that will best drive growth and innovation. Josh Linkner weighs in with a fresh perspective on this critical leadership challenge. A highly successful serial entrepreneur and now a tech investor, Linkner shows leaders how to employ his simple but effective framework to ramp up the creativity and identify/launch ideas that will break through and defy gravity.
  • Entrepreneurial Fire: Think And Act Like A Startup (Even If You're Not)

    Entrepreneurs look at the world differently. We celebrate them for their bold vision and courage — they drive game-changing innovation that creates enormous economic success while making a profound impact on the world. What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that helps these mavericks seize opportunity that others miss? A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Linkner shows leaders and organizations how to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight.
  • The Music of Business: Translating Improvisational Thinking from the Jazz Stage to the Business World

    Be prepared to be amazed. Josh Linkner, a jazz guitarist since age 14, credits a musical background for giving him a different way of looking at business. In this stunning interactive presentation, a live jazz performance by Josh and his band is woven with stimulating dialogue. You'll actually hear, through their music, fresh ways to unleash your organization's creative mojo. In jazz, 99% of the notes are improvised, created in real-time. Yet it's the structure of a jazz combo — not the inherent talent of individual musicians — that allows for such breathtaking creative expression. In today's business landscape of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, we can no longer just play the notes on the written page.
When Josh speaks, business improves.

—Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Thank you a million times over—you nailed it with the presentation yesterday and it was spot on for our team! You sparked so many follow-on discussions yesterday and were a continued theme throughout our meeting—people are already brainstorming great new ideas about how to implement small innovations and use your tips to break down barriers on our teams.

—Melissa Fillpek, Director Public Affairs, American Express

Josh, as always you are amazing. It is quite obvious that you took the time to prepare to bring everything you have. Thank you for your coaching and support throughout. I am sending you so much gratitude. You amaze me...always!

—Kathy Twells, Assoc. Vice President Customer Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company

Josh Linkner is a truly special entrepreneur; part of a rare breed.

—Eric Lefkosfsky, CEO, Groupon

How I Did It: Josh Linkner, CEO, ePrize

As told to Leigh Buchanan Industry: Advertising and Marketing 2006 Inc. 500 Ranking: 185 Three-Year Growth: 638% “Fat and happy” is no one’s description of an ideal warrior. EPrize, which develops ... Read more

by Inc. Magazine

Driving Innovation In Customer Experience With Josh Linkner

There’s a lot of talk about innovation in the business world. But innovation is more than just a buzzword—it should be the culture and mindset of customer experience professionals. The best customer experiences push ... Read more

by Forbes

Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Small Business

No matter how strong your business is at the moment, your future success may depend on new ideas. “You may not feel a sense of urgency,” says entrepreneur Josh Linkner, author of “Hacking ... Read more

by Chase For Business

Create Cultures of Excellence & Innovation ?

Innovation is the driving force behind growth, change, and prosperity. Learn how we can all inject innovative approaches to serving clients, growing our businesses, and enjoying sustainable success. Gotham Artists ... Read more

by Gotham Artists

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